India won 7 medals at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. These Olympians made us proud worldover. But do we really deserve them? Despite being failed by the system and the nation as a whole, these sportspersons gave their all in scripting history for India at the recently held Olympics.
These instances show how they struggled to get access to the basic amenities leave aside professional training.
1. Before the Olympics started, Neeraj Chopra’s coach, Uwe Hohn, had said that India’s top sports organisations ‘did not do enough’ to prepare the athletes.
According to him, the only reason Chopra could travel to Europe for training and competitions just before the Olympics was because of JSW Sports, the sports promoter that supports the Asian and Commonwealth gold medal winner.
Talking about the lack of nutritious diet even for the top athletes in India, he said:
Beside camps or competitions even when we ask via our nutritionist for supplements for our athletes we don’t get the right stuff.
Interview of Neeraj’s coach before the Olympics. Our athletes win despite the system not because of it. https://t.co/wQqaLtMNKm— Prajwal (@prajwalmanipal) August 8, 2021
2. Boxing champion Lovlina Borgohain’s village got a motorable road only after she won a bronze medal at the Olympics.
Road After Medal#LovlinaBorgohain village get metalled road. Long pending road work started only after she assured medal in Tokyo.— Saurabh Duggal (@duggal_saurabh) August 1, 2021
This is a reason why we lack in sports. Attention comes only after the medal, largely authorities fail to strengthen system at grassroots level… pic.twitter.com/2HoIjEwSSX
Indian olympic medal winner @LovlinaBorgohai ‘s home gets a motor-able road in Assam to welcome her. pic.twitter.com/wUnTKsY79A— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) August 4, 2021
Not just roads, the Guwahati village is also devoid of piped water supply, and it entirely runs on water from tubewells and nearby ponds. Apart from a small primary healthcare facility, there is no hospital in her village.
3. Wrestler Ravi Dahiya’s village in Haryana’s Sonepat district does not even have basic necessities like potable drinking water and electricity supply.
Dahiya who won a silver medal at the Olympics told media how his win will help his village secure the basic needs.
It’s great news! Nahari has sent athletes to the Olympics in the past as well, and my village needs many facilities. I’m glad that all the people, especially youngsters there will get more opportunities to train.
4. With little to no access to reach the sports academy, Mirabai Chanu had to take lifts from truck drivers who used to carry sand from the village to the city.
Olympiad @mirabai_chanu home was more than 25 km from the Sport Academy. No means of transport during those days, except trucks which carried river sands to the City. These truck drivers gave her lift everyday. Today she rewarded these truck drivers. pic.twitter.com/9WegUkwjkz— Naorem Mohen (@laimacha) August 5, 2021
She did not forget their contributions and felicitated the truck drivers after her victory at the Tokyo Olympics.
5. Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia have also alleged that the state government did not pay them the full prize money as promised citing change in the policies.
India’s star performers at the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games have complained that they did not receive the prize money. One year after winning at the Asian Games in Jakarta, the wrestler was still waiting for the money.
6. These are the visuals from the house of Salima Tete, a national hockey player, who made India proud at the Olympics.
Jharkhand: Visuals from the residence of hockey player Salima Tete, in Badkichapar village of Simdega district— ANI (@ANI) August 6, 2021
Tete is part of the Indian women’s hockey team that will take on Great Britain for Bronze medal in #TokyoOlympics today morning pic.twitter.com/DUmhtxoB36
1/ “Everyone in our village plays hockey, even though we have no facilities. Hockey gives us a purpose. But I’m the first player from my village to represent India at an international level,” says 19-YO #SalimaTete who made #Jharkhand proud with her efforts at #TokyoOlympics. pic.twitter.com/yjl4AV9qdX— The Better India (@thebetterindia) August 3, 2021
Salima hails from one of the worst Left Wing Extremism affected districts in Jharkhand and her village has just 45 households but none of them have a TV set.
When she was scripting history in Tokyo along with the entire hockey team, her family couldn’t watch her play.